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Writing 101, Day Four: The Serial Killer

Today, write about a loss. The twist: make this the first post in a three-post series.

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Write about a loss: something (or someone) that was part of your life, and isn’t any more.

This doesn’t need to be a depressing exercise; you can write about that time you lost the three-legged race at a picnic. What’s important is reflecting on this experience and what it meant for you — how it felt, why it happened, and what changed because of it.

Today’s twist: Make today’s post the first in a three-post series.

Our blogs are often made of standalone posts, but using them to take readers on longer journeys is an immersive experience for them — and you. It allows you to think bigger and go deeper into an idea, while using a hook that keeps readers coming back.

A series can take many forms:

We also have advice that might help. If you decide to go serial, we’ve got days scheduled for parts two and three, so don’t worry about writing everything now or having to shoehorn the other posts in.

Looking for feedback on your new trilogy? Head to The Commons.

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    1. I’m thinking to write on something touchy as well – do you think people will be interested/ready for it? This is just something very close to my heart, and I wonder if I’m ready…

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    2. I think successful blog posts can be broken into three categories, informative, entertaining, and honest. I think touchy/emotional topics are hard for us to write about sometimes, but they are incredibly compelling to read. Look forward to some great posts with this topic.

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      1. As long as you have ideas that’s good and adding confusion of ideas. just write it down, confuse yourself and us as well. don’t take loss as a sad thing, sometime you need to be really creative and insane in doing things to make it more interesting.

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      2. And keep the title attractive, i choose what i read based on its title. be creative, be insane just release it all into this world.

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    1. That’s the problem I’m having! So I guess the trick is how to make it.. I don’t know. One of those depressing things that people get something out of. Good luck! I look forward to seeing yours!

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      1. I guess one way to work with that is to include whatever you might have learned from the experience. Or what helped you get through it. That way, even if it’s a depressing topic, it might help someone else going through something similar. Or think about what you wish someone had said or done to you at the time.

        I don’t know–just a thought.

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    2. It’s a crazy concept that some successful comedians have learned to do and those that were oppressed do too – laugh through the tears and smile through the hate. Hope this helps both you Angie and Sahara. You’re still here and possibly on the other side of the pain. So when the tears fall…tell us; when the story enrages you within…describe it. Enjoy your healing and your freedom. We salute you in advance – life soldiers

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      1. What awesome advice! Wow – I will take that to heart (even though I was not a part of it). I actually did a 2nd write after my first which was a little too flippant for me, so I chose something more heart-wrenching.

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      2. Yes, I guess you are right. I did actually write about losing my mum shortly after it happened, buy never punished it. It did masochistically help healing. Today I chose the coward’s approach though by writing about another type of loss. Maybe one day I will pluck up the courage and write about my mum after all!

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    1. Yes, I agree with thishideousheart, re-tell the story from the beginning but in a way that can be broken into three parts. It may give you an idea that is a fresh new view on the story you have already been working on and force you to condense it into three parts.

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    2. The overall topic is about loss.
      Optionally (as part of the “twist”) you can do a trilogy. Part 1 would post today, and then part 2 tomorrow, and then part 3 the day after.

      Hope that helps 🙂

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  1. So wait, can I write all three today itself, or should I save the other two for day five and day six?

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  2. I’m too resentful to write a post on the living people who disappeared from my life, and too sad to write about the dead ones. So, I’ll focus on lost stuff. Inanimate objects often have a story to tell.

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    1. Inanimate objects often have a story to tell.

      Yes! Reminds me of a great novel by Lauren Beukes called Zoo City — the main character, Zinzi December has a sixth sense of sorts, the ability to find lost objects for people. I highly recommend it. (It’s a bit dark at times, but it’s a fantastic read.)

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  3. So does this mean that you have days in the curriculum for parts 2 and 3? Or do we schedule them out ourselves from here? I just don’t want to write 3 parts only to find out that you’ve already written them into the curriculum later on.

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    1. If I remember right, in the directions they said they had part 2 and 3 built into the curriculum so it wouldn’t be a matter of having to write an extra piece.

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  4. Hm, this is hard. D: I have no idea what to pick. I don’t want to go for depressing but an idea keeps popping up that won’t let go so I’ll work with it! Maybe it will help me let go of the hurt.

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  5. Sounds tricky, but I think I have an idea coming on and the fact that we can work on it over several posts helps

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  6. Trying to think of all the ways a loss can be positive…This is a tricky subject, and if I’m going to write on it three times I want it to be upbeat!

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    1. It is tricky indeed..I don’t want it to be too depressing either but how could you possibly make loss sound upbeat- loss of life that is! I suppose if we talk about inanimate things i suppose we could inject humour into it.

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  7. This could be a good one. Just this morning I was telling some friends about a particular recurring loss in my life that has happened 3 times. Hmmmm…..now to get it “on paper” and stay true to the theme of my blog 🙂 thanks for the challenge…

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  8. Sounds like a great assignment. I’ll start it later though as it’s quite late here and I’m very tired and unable to concentrate enough to get this started just now.

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      1. yeahh… I had to set it to private for a moment there. It should be okay to open now 🙂

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  9. Michelle, I know exactly what I want to write about which is great. But, does this exercise need to be in story form or can I write based on my blog style which is in rant form? Does it matter?

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